For older adults, a trip to the hospital can be the impetus for a major life change. If a senior lives alone, returning home to the house they lived in for a long time may no longer be possible. The next step may be moving to assisted living housing. More often than not, this transition can be one of the biggest adjustments a senior will make in their older years.
Preparation to move to assisted living housing
It is helpful to discuss assisted living housing options with older loved ones to know their needs and wants before it is necessary. If the need arises, you already know where to go. If you need to start from scratch, take time to research each location, observe the level of cleanliness, staff friendliness and whether residents seem content in the environment.
Moving is one of the life’s most stressful events. It can be overwhelming for an older loved one moving to assisted living housing, and your loved one may feel anxiety over an unfamiliar location and culture, meeting new people and learning a new schedule. These concerns are completely normal. Talking through your loved one’s fears about the transition is a great way to overcome them. Be patient as everyone has a different timeline for their emotional transition.
Be sure to visit your loved one in assisted living housing as often as possible and encourage family members and friends to do the same. This is especially important during the first few weeks in the community as it will help the individual acclimate to new surroundings without feeling abandoned.
Meet new neighbors
A major perk to assisted living housing is having neighbors, mostly in the same age group. Encourage your loved one to meet new people living in their hallway, on the same floor or even next door. Every person they meet can become a new friend, offering opportunities to share memories, laughter and fun. It is likely these new friends have gone through a similar transition, and they can share advice and provide support.
Encourage your loved one to get involved in events and activities
A major benefit of living at assisted living housing are the social events and activities that are offered. Country Meadows’ Vibe program is created for residents’ whole well-being from physical, cognitive, social, spiritual and intergenerational benefits to purposeful service, educational or art classes and engagement with pets and nature. Attending events early on provides first-hand opportunities to meet other residents, discover favorite activities and have new things to look forward to on a regular basis.
At assisted living housing, the dining room serves meals as well as socialization opportunities. Encourage loved ones to connect with new neighbors over meals, sharing memories while breaking bread. This is a great time to make new friends, helping loved ones feel more at home.
Stay involved in regular life activities
Just because a loved one moves to assisted living housing doesn’t mean they need to cut ties with the outside community. Country Meadows and most assisted living providers offer transportation for residents to continue attending church services, shop at favorite stores and visit doctors.
Respite programs offering restorative care
Country Meadows offers restorative services as part of assisted living to help seniors achieve recovery goals and prevent re-hospitalization. Our Progressions program helps them increase strength and energy to live more independently, more healthily and more safely. Progressions is an ideal solution for anyone who needs a respite stay at assisted living housing for four to eight weeks-and costs far less than a nursing home. As its name implies, its intent is to help people make physical progress so they can resume a more active, enjoyable lifestyle.
Country Meadows offers assisted living options at nine locations in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Maryland. For information about navigating the maze of senior living options, tips for talking with aging parents, and more, Country Meadows offers a comprehensive Resource Center. Team members are also available to help with any questions you may have when considering a transition to assisted living for your loved one. If you would like more information about how we can support you or a loved one, please contact us today.